Lover

I slide another sympathy casserole into my fridge. The foil crinkles against a lasagna. The lady pats my arm with one wrinkled hand and tells me everything is part of a bigger plan. What kind of plan puts you in a coma?

Every pitying look makes me think of you again. How you drove off into the snowstorm after I begged you to explain why you strayed. The call. Your ancient white Civic, smashed into that oak tree, snow collecting on the edges of the shattered glass. The hospital room, more whiteness, where you lie limp but breathing. My eyes burn and hands tremble. It shouldn’t be like this.

The house is quiet without you. My footsteps echo against the hardwood floors. The refrigerator buzzes. I heat up a bowl of casserole, and the once-white microwave squeals with every rotation, setting my teeth on edge.

It’s wrong; it’s all wrong. When I drained your brake fluid, you were supposed to die. I was supposed to be free. Now you’re in limbo and I am too, waiting for another call. What will I do when you wake up?

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